Khmernews

Media Release on:Victims call on the ECCC to make Reparations a priority

Posted by khmernews on June 18, 2009

Media Release on:

Victims call on the ECCC to make Reparations a priority

Kampot, Wednesday 17th June 2009

Today ADHOC held a workshop on Reparations for Victims of the Khmer Rouge Regime. Victims of the Khmer Rouge regime gathered in Kampot to participate in a day of presentations and discussions on the moral and collective reparations that judges at the ECCC are empowered to order following a conviction at the court. The workshop started with a declaration from ADHOC President THUN Saray that “victims have an absolute right to demand reparations” for the crimes they suffered at the hands of the Khmer Rouge. 95 victims and survivors of the Khmer Rouge regime, many from the Cham minority, travelled from Sihanouk Ville, Koh Kong, Kep and Kampot provinces to take part in today’s workshop. The victims present heard from speakers including the new outreach coordinator for the Victims Unit NEOU Kassie, and Co-Lawyer for the Civil Parties HONG Kim Soun, about the scope and limitations of the reparations that the ECCC is empowered to order, the progress and futures of the trials, and the material, legal and psychological support available to them as they engage with the ECCC. Participants then took part in animated group discussions on the issue of reparations.

All victims present were united in agreeing that the ECCC should order reparations awards with participants proposing a wide range of reparations that they thought would have real meaning for them. Proposed reparations included memorials and stupas, statues of Pol Pot in handcuffs with his regime finally brought to justice, museums and the preservation of documents recording the Khmer Rouge period, free psychological, medical care, and social support for vulnerable and elderly victims.

The views expressed today echo those heard at ADHOC workshops held in Phnom Penh, Batambang, and Kampong Cham in the past 10 months where over 300 victims have called on the court to make reparations a reality.  This strong demand for reparations is also reflected by the over 1000 civil part applications that ADHOC has assisted victims to submit. All of these victims are united in their call for the ECCC to deliver not only justice, but reparation for the crimes of the Khmer Rouge. ADHOC therefore appeals to the ECCC on behalf of the victims of the Khmer Rouge to listen to the victims of the Khmer Rouge regime and take immediate steps to ensure that meaningful reparations accompany the trial and punishment of those responsible for the crimes of the Khmer Rouge regime.

ADHOC therefore renews our call on the ECCC to;

1.    Heed the call from victims for meaningful reparations, and focus on this issue;

2.    Take immediate and credible action to investigate the financial assets of the accused persons in order to recover potential resources to fund reparations orders;

3.    Amend the ECCC’s Internal Rules to allow for additional sources of funding for reparations where the convicted person has insufficient assets;

For further information or comment please contact:

– THUN Saray (President): 016 880 509
– LATT Ky (Project Coordinator of KRT/ICC Program): 012 82 84 11
– Andrew DICKIE (Communications Officer and Advisor to Program): 092 643 682

*****
Background Information

ADHOC’s Khmer Rouge Trials and International Criminal Court Program, supported by the European Union, Oxfam Novib, and DED is working to ensure that the ECCC succeeds in delivering justice to the victims of the Khmer Rouge, and to ensure that  safeguards are adopted that will prevent the perpetration of similar mass crimes in the future.

ADHOC is running the largest and only truly national outreach program providing information about the ECCC and ICC, and has reached over 40,000 people in its outreach campaign. ADHOC is also leading efforts to assist and support victims of the Khmer Rouge regime in their participation at the trials. As part of this program ADHOC held Victim Workshops on Reparations in Phnom Penh on 29th August, Batambang on 19th December, and Kampong Cham on 22nd December 2008, and Kampot 17th June 2009. These workshops were attended by around 400 victims and civil party applicants.

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